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Classrooms 'buzzing' during school's camp week

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By Ron Benningfield

    Hodgenville Elementary School’s classrooms buzzed with activity last week.
In teacher Deana Paden’s room, three young scientists with safety goggles and scalpels in hand prepared to dissect a frog they had named Rosie.
    Down the hall, Patti Devary’s scholars put finishing touches on rock candy they had grown in jars.
    In another room, Heather Hynes, whose charges created meals from worldwide recipes, learned how to enjoy the mouthwatering morsels while employing good table manners.
    Patrick Walsh, in yet another room, sat among a semi-circle of youths with drums.  As soon as he beat out a four-count cadence, the students copied the sounds, beat by beat, on their drums.
All the activity was part of Quest Camp, four mornings of hands-on activities sponsored by LaRue County Schools’ Gifted Program.  Students in grades K-4 from Hodgenville and Abraham Lincoln elementaries, and district middle and high school pupils who met at LaRue County High School learned concepts in innovative ways.
    “Teachers are able to go more in depth with the instruction here, and the small teacher-to-learner ratio also helps,” said Denise Skaggs, instructional supervisor, who, with Karyn Brey, elementary gifted-talented coordinator, organized the camp, which teachers as well as students seemed to enjoy.
    “Because we are so limited by time during the regular school year, being able to spend more time focusing here is one reason the camp is so popular,” said Devary.  
    “We’re reviewing the same geometric concepts, but in different, hands-on, ways,” explained Rex Hanson, whose group’s creations included a stellated icosahedron with 20 faces and 30 sides.
Brey said a record 134 students enrolled for this year’s camp.
    Other teachers included Mary Lou Newton, Becky Hawkins, Tina Southwood, Cara Holt, Aaron Howell, Renee Wright, Dodd Caudill, James Russell, Andy Arendt and Kathy Milby.

COOL School
    Melissa Pearman, Hodgenville Elementary School’s family resource center coordinator, also experienced record numbers in attendance at COOL School held afternoons last week on HES’s campus.
    “We totaled 142 participants,” said Pearman.  Her center co-sponsored the event with Abraham Lincoln Elementary’s center whose coordinator is Machelle Durham.
    Pearman described COOL School as a “week of fun-filled activities.”
“They gained knowledge in social studies, science, art, physical education and nutrition, plus grades three through five learned bicycle safety during a program Wednesday,” she related.
    “The Youth Service Center provided six high school helpers and several Beta members who’ll be in grades 6-8 volunteered their services, which was a huge help in making COOL School a success. “      
     Teachers included Hawkins, science; Hynes, social studies; Holt, art; Southwood, P.E., and Abby Tate, nutrition.